Global Running Day is a day "for people around the world to celebrate the joys of running."
It's a day to honor why you run.
It's a day to share with those you run with.
It's a chance to reignite your passion for the sport.
And, it's a chance to inspire a similar passion in others.
As a mother runner to two gorgeous boys, my goal today – Global Running Day – is to do all of that not just for them but with them.
Both Miles and Silas have been a part of my running since they were born. Actually, before as I was able to run for the majority of my pregnancies. Once they exhibited good head control, they were strapped into the car seat and I pushed them in the BOB Ironman thanks to an adapter. As they got older, I ditched the adapter and used the five-point harness. Si has even accompanied me for a race – a Girls on the Run 5K last May.
Of the two, though, Miles is my running buddy. I pushed him in the stroller as I trained for my first 26.2, the 2012 Columbus Marathon, and for a number of other events. He's been on short runs and long runs, logging hundreds of miles on those three wheels. He's begged to go on the run, dared me to farther, urged me to go faster and relentlessly requested to go up bigger and bigger hills.
Now that he's getting older (he'll turn 5 in July), he's not just content to sit back and watch me pound the pavement. He wants to hop out and go for it, too. It's a joy to see him become interested in the sport that is more than something that I do but something I am.
And because he's had a hand in helping me become the runner I am, I would be remiss not to celebrate Global Running Day with him.
Here are ways you, too, can celebrate the day with your children.
Sign up for a race. I once lamented that there just weren't enough running events that were family-friendly in my area. There were plenty of 5Ks but very, very few had shorter sprints and dashes for the children. I'm happy to report that things are changing here. Log onto your local running club's website and look for races that have kids miles or are stroller-friendly. Be sure to take into consideration whether the race has family-friendly activities after your runner finishes and if medals are handed out. Ask your budding runner which race he would like to do and sign him up. I'm eyeing the Taste of the Arts 4-Mile Run,which has a free (!!!) kids mile.
The chase is on. Children might not find the same satisfaction as you while running through the neighborhood or in a race. And that's OK. However, that doesn't mean they can't run with you. Play a game of tag in the backyard, set up an obstacle course or organize a neighborhood dash with his friends. Remember, running at this age should be about fun more than fitness.
Put a shoe on it. Kids are hard on shoes. I lament that I can buy Miles a new pair of sneakers and the soles will be worn thin within 6 weeks. While those shoes are just fine for play, consider getting your little running buddy fitted for his own pair of shoes. My favorite local running store carries kids sizes from reputable running brands such as New Balance. Getting him a dedicated pair of running shoes, just like you, can help keep him excited about running. Miles recently got a pair of New Balance Vazee Rush, which he has deemed comfortable and super cool (though not as cool as his Highlights Tote). The shoe features "all the technology aspiring athletes need, and nothing they don't, this shoe accommodates their growing need for speed."
And if Miles is any indication, there's plenty of speed in those feet.
Happy running day!
Disclosure: Miles and I each received a pair of New Balance Vazee shoes in honor of running day but I was not compensated or asked to write this post. All opinions are my own – including that it is of the utmost importance to not only display an active lifestyle but to encourage one.